Skip to main content

Fuzzy synthetic evaluation of treated wastewater reuse for agriculture

Abstract

Reuse of treated wastewater (TWW) for agriculture is in practice in many countries. TWW reuse requires wastewater collection, treatment and recycling, which is associated with cost as well as risk to human and ecological systems. In contrast, it can increase agricultural production and reduce environmental risks by reducing wastewater discharge into the natural environment. In Saudi Arabia, where available water resources are extremely limited, TWW reuse can save significant amount of non-renewable groundwater used in agricultural development, which is a strategic goal for the country. In this paper, a multicriteria decision-making approach was developed where cost, risk, benefits and social acceptance of TWW reuse were considered to be the main criteria. A multistage hierarchy risk management model was constructed for this evaluation. Fuzzy synthetic evaluation technique was incorporated where fuzzy triangular membership functions were developed to capture uncertainties of the basic criteria. The analytic hierarchy process was used to determine the relative importance of various criteria at different hierarchy levels. This study indicated that TWW reuse could have positive impact on agriculture, risk reduction and groundwater conservation.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  • Abderrahman, W. A. (2000). Water demand management and Islamic water management principles: A case study. Water Resources Development, 16(4), 465–473.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Alaa El-Din, M. N., Madany, I. M., AI-Tayaran, A., Al-Jubair, A. H., & Gomaa, A. (1994). Trends in water quality of some wells in Saudi Arabia, 1984–1989. Science of the Total Environment, 143, 173–181.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Al-Aama, M. S., & Nakhla, G. F. (1995). Wastewater reuse in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Water Research, 29(6), 1579–1584.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Alhumoud, J. M., Behbehani, H. S., & Abdullah, T. H. (2003). Wastewater reuse practices in Kuwait. The Environmentalist, 23, 117–126.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Al-Jaloud, A. A. (2010). Reuse of wastewater for irrigation in Saudi Arabia and its effect on soil and plant. In 19th world congress of soil science, soil solutions for a changing world, August 1–6, Brisbane, Australia.

  • Al-Mogrin, S. (2003). Saudi Arabia country paper. In: Proceedings of expert consultation for launching the regional network on wastewater reuse in the near east. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Regional Office for the Near East World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean Cairo, pp. 94–116.

  • Assadian, N. W., Esparza, L. C., Fenn, L. B., Ali, A. S., Miyamoto, S., Figueroa, U. V., et al. (1998). Spatial variability of heavy metals in irrigated alfalfa fields in the upper Rio Grande River basin. Agricultural Water Management, 36(2), 141–156.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ayres, R. M., & Mar, D. D. (1996). Analysis of wastewater for use in agriculture: A laboratory manual of parasitological and bacteriological techniques. World Health Organization (WHO). Switzerland: Geneva.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bonissone, P. P. (1997). Soft computing: The convergence of emerging reasoning technologies. Soft Computing, 1, 6–18.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chang, A. C., Pan, G., Page, A. L., & Asano, T. (2002). Developing human health-related chemical guidelines for reclaimed waster and sewage sludge applications in agriculture. Prepared for World Health Organization.

  • Chen, S. J., & Hwang, C. L. (1992). Fuzzy multiple attribute decision making-methods and applications. Berlin, Germany: Springer.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Chen, Y., Shahbaz Khan, S., & Padar, Z. (2008). Irrigation intensification or extensification assessment: A GIS-based spatial fuzzy multi-criteria evaluation. In Proceedings of the 8th international symposium on spatial accuracy assessment in natural resources and environmental sciences, Shanghai, P. R. China, June 25–27, 2008, pp. 309–318.

  • Cheng, S. J., & Lin, Y. (2002). Evaluating the best main battle tank using fuzzy decision theory with linguistic criteria evaluation. European Journal of Operation Research, 142, 174–186.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chowdhury, S. (2012). Decision making with uncertainty: an example of water treatment approach selection. Water Quality Research Journal of Canada (WQRC), 47(2), 153–165.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chowdhury, S., & Al-Zahrani, M. (2013a). Implications of climate change on water resources in Saudi Arabia. Arabian Journal of Science and Engineering, 38, 1959–1971.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chowdhury, S., & Al-Zahrani, M. (2013b). Characterizing water resources and the trends of sector wise water consumptions in Saudi Arabia. Journal of King Saud UniversityEngineering Sciences. doi:10.1016/j.jksues.2013.02.002.

  • Chowdhury, S., Champagne, P., & Husain, T. (2007). Fuzzy risk-based decision-making approach for selection of drinking water disinfectants. Journal of Water Supply: Research and Technology, 56(2), 75–93.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chowdhury, S., Champagne, P., & McLellan, P. J. (2009). Uncertainty characterization approaches for risk assessment of DBPs in drinking water: A review. Journal of Environmental Management, 90(5), 1680–1691.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chowdhury, S., Husain, T., Veitch, B., Bose, N., & Sadiq, R. (2004). Human health risk assessment of naturally occurring radioactive materials in produced water—A case study. Journal of Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 10(6), 1155–1171.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Connor, J., Nevin, J., Malander, M., Stanley, C., & Devaull, G. (1995). RBCA (risk-based corrective action): Tier 2 guidance manual. Houston, TX: Ground water Services, Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  • Constantina, S., & Yanko, W. A. (1994). Evaluation of composted sewage sludge based soil amendments for potential risks of salmonellosis. Journal Environment Health, 56(7), 19–38.

    Google Scholar 

  • Crook, J., & Surampalli, R. Y. (1996). Water reclamation and reuse criteria in the U.S. Water Science Technology, 33(10–11), 451–462.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Elhadj, E. (2004). Household water and sanitation services in Saudi Arabia: an analysis of economic, political and ecological issues. SOAS Water Research Group, Occasional paper 56.

  • FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). (1998). Proceedings of the second expert consultation on national water policy reform in the Near East, Cairo, Egypt, November 24–25, 1997.

  • FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). (2009). Irrigation in the Middle East region in figures. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. FAO water reports 34, Rome.

  • FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). (2012). http://faostat.fao.org/site/339/default.aspx.

  • Feachem, R. G., Bradleg, D. J., Garslick, H., & Mara, D. D. (1983). Sanitation and diseases-health aspects of excreta and wastewater management. Chichester, UK: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fernández, C. A., Arumí, J. L., Rivera. D., & Boochs, P. W. (2009). Environmental effects of irrigation in arid and semi-arid regions. Chilean Journal of Agricultural Research, 69(Suppl. 1), 27–40.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ferson, S. (1996). What Monte Carlo methods cannot do? Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 2, 990–1007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Friis, L., Engstrad, L., & Edling, C. (1996). Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection among wastewater workers. Scandinavian Journal of Work Environmental Health, 22, 364–371.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Guyonnet, D., Come, B., Perrochet, P., & Parriaux, A. (1999). Comparing two methods for addressing uncertainty in risk assessments. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 125(7), 660–667.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hass, C. N., & Rose, J. B. (1995). Developing an action level for Cryptosporidium. Journal American Water Works Association, 87(9), 81–98.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hussain, I., Raschid, L., Hanjra, M. A., Marikar, F., & van der Hoek, W. (2002). Wastewater use in agriculture: Review of impacts and methodological issues in valuing impacts. (With an extended list of bibliographical references). Working paper 37. International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

  • Kajenthira, D. A., Anadon, L. D., & Siddiqqi, A. (2011). A new case for wastewater reuse in Saudi Arabia: Bringing energy into water equation. The Dubai Initiative—Policy Brief, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

  • Khadam, I. M., & Kaluarachchi, J. J. (2003). Multi-criteria decision analysis with probabilistic risk assessment for the management of contaminated ground water. Environmental Impact and Assessment Review, 23, 683–721.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Klir, G. J., & Yuan, B. (1995). Fuzzy sets and fuzzy logic-theory and applications. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, USA: Prentice-Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kruse, E. A., & Barrett, G. W. (1985). Effects of municipal sludge and fertilizer on heavy metal accumulation in earthworms. Environmental Pollution (Series A), 38, 235–244.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lee, W. L. (1992). Risk assessment and risk management for nitrate-contaminated groundwater supplies. PhD thesis, University of Nebraska.

  • Lee, H. M. (1996). Applying fuzzy set theory to evaluate the rate of aggregative risk in software development. Fuzzy Sets and Systems, 79, 323–336.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lee, T., Oliver, J. L., Teniere-Buchot, P. F., Travers, L., & Valiron, F. (2001). Economics and financial aspects of water resources. In C. Maksimovic & J. A. Tejada-Guibert (Eds.), Frontiers in urban water management: Deadlock or Hope (pp. 313–343). London: IWA.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lu, R. S., Lo, S. L., & Hu, J. Y. (1999). Analysis of reservoir water quality using fuzzy synthetic evaluation. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 13, 327–336.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • MAW (Ministry of Agriculture and Water). (1984). Water Atlas of Saudi Arabia. Riyadh: MAW.

    Google Scholar 

  • MOEP (The Ministry of Economy and Planning). (2010). The ninth development plan (2010–2014). The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: MOEP.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pescod, M. B. (1992). Wastewater treatment and use in agriculture. FAO irrigation and drainage paper no. 47, Rome, Italy.

  • Qadir, M., Bahri, A., Sato, T., & Al-Karadsheh, E. (2010). Wastewater production, treatment, and irrigation in Middle East and North Africa. Irrigation and Drainage Systems, 24, 37–51.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Saaty, T. L. (1988). Multi-criteria decision-making: The analytic hierarchy process. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sadiq, R., & Rodríguez, M. J. (2004). Fuzzy synthetic evaluation of disinfection by-products—A risk-based indexing system. Journal of Environmental Management, 73(1), 1–13.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Saudi Council of Ministers. (2000). Treated wastewater and reuse: Bylaw no. 42, 2000. The Council of Ministers, Saudi Arabia.

  • Ursula, J. B., & Peasey, A. (2002). Critical review of epidemiological evidence of the health effects of wastewater and excreta use in agriculture. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

  • USEPA. (1998). Human health risk assessment protocol. EPA-530-D-98-001A. USEPA Office of Solid Waste, USA.

  • USEPA. (2004). Guidelines for Water Reuse. US Environmental Protection Agency. EPA625/R-04/108.

  • Vigneswaran, S., & Sundaravadivel, M. (2004). Recycle and reuse of domestic wastewater. In: S. Vigneswaran (Eds), Wastewater Recycle, Reuse, and Reclamation. Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS). Developed under the Auspices of the UNESCO. Oxford, UK: Eolss Publishers. (http://www.eolss.net).

  • Water Atlas. (1995). Water Atlas. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Ministry of Water.

    Google Scholar 

  • WHO (World Health Organization). (2006). A compendium of standards for wastewater reuse in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Regional Centre for Environmental Health Activities, CEHA.

  • Yager, R. R., & Filev, D. P. (1994). Essentials of fuzzy modeling and control. New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zadeh, L. A. (1965). Fuzzy sets. Information and Control, 8(3), 338–353.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zahid, W. A. (2007). Cost analysis of trickling-filtration and activated sludge plants for the treatment of municipal wastewater. In The proceedings of the 7th Saudi engineering conference, College of Engineering, King Saud University, Riyadh, December 2–5.

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the support provided by the Deanship of Scientific Research (DSR) at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) for funding this work through project No. RG 1110-1 and RG 1110-2.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Shakhawat Chowdhury.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Chowdhury, S., Al-Zahrani, M. Fuzzy synthetic evaluation of treated wastewater reuse for agriculture. Environ Dev Sustain 16, 521–538 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-013-9491-8

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-013-9491-8

Keywords

  • Treated wastewater reuse
  • Fuzzy multistage hierarchy framework
  • Agricultural production
  • Environmental risk
  • Saudi Arabia